The national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, has appealed to all the Igbos in the state to support the ruling party in the forthcoming 2019 general elections.

The former Lagos governor made the appeal to the Igbo community, a sizeable minority in Lagos, while addressing party supporters after the Governor's Advisory Council (GAC) meeting in Ikeja on Wednesday, February 20, 2019.

Tinubu said the Igbo community has enjoyed the support of the state government and asked for the good faith to be rewarded at the polls.

"We appeal to our Igbo brothers, from the east; this is the state where you conduct your business; your children are in our schools.

"We don't discriminate against them in our West African Examinations Council (WAEC), National Examination Council (NECO) or Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) fees. Even in our universities, they take the benefit of our tuition allowances and all that.

"Now, we say help us; vote for us and our candidates," he appealed.

The former governor said he's confident that the party's presidential candidate, President Muhammadu Buhari, governorship candidate, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, and other candidates will be victorious at the polls.

Tinubu is confident President Buhari will win a second term
Tinubu is confident President Buhari will win a second term

Strained relationship

The Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu, had created friction between the APC and the Igbo community in 2015 when he threatened death if they failed to vote for its then-candidate, Akinwunmi Ambode.

"If anyone of you, I swear in the name of God, goes against my wish that Ambode will be the next governor of Lagos State, the person is going to die inside this water," he had said.

The governorship candidate of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Jimi Agbaje, revisited the controversy in December 2018 when he said Sanwo-Olu's political establishment dislikes Lagos' population of Igbo people from the southeast region.

Sanwo-Olu promptly fired back, warning that the campaign should be issue-based and not an avenue to instigate ethnic tensions in the state.

The battle to become the next Lagos governor is primed to be a showdown between Sanwo-Olu and Agbaje.

The election will take place on March 9, as its initial March 2 date was moved by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) due to logistics issues.